By Uchenna Eletuo
The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday asked maritime agencies to review subsisting policies to accommodate more Nigerian women in the seafaring profession.
The first lady who described women as good human and material managers said that, such policy drive would help to level gender inequalities existing in the profession.
Mrs Buhari, gave the advice at the 2019 Seafarers Day organised by the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the event was: `On Board with Gender Equality’ aimed at honouring seafarers for their contribution.
NAN also reports that the president’s wife was represented at the event by the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo.
She said “There has been significant effort by the NIMASA leadership at making the women play active role in the maritime sector especially in the seafaring aspect.
“Mr President is desirous of seeing more women in the industry this year celebration focusing on women seafarers is therefore apt.
“It will be development on a wider range seeing agencies play pivotal role in leading the pack in the new direction of gender equality in maritime career of the girl child.
“Let me stress that it is important to educate the girl child in opportunities in taking up career in the sector and the derivable benefits there, while dissuading them from the notion that it is men’s job,’’ she said.
Dr Dakuku Peterside, the Director-General (DG) of NIMASA in his address said the agency was gender sensitive, adding that more Nigerian girls had in the recent times benefited from NIMASA cadet training.
“To this end the agency will continue to pursue policies that will accelerate gender equality and empowerment of women in the maritime.
“In addition to the 304 female cadets we have trained since the inception of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), special attention will now be given to the training of female seafarers in specialised courses to enable them take-up professional responsibilities,’’ he said
MS Sophia Adula, an awaiting Seatime Mandatory Cadet told NAN that many of them out there were yet to sail out after graduation because of no platform to acquire the training that would certify them.
She called on the authorities to make seatime training platform available for them to ply their trade. (NAN)